The Vanadium Technology Partnership (VTP) is a cooperative relationship between the vanadium microalloyed steel industry and the US Army to apply these high-performance steels in US Army applications.
The increasing emphasis on developing lightweight weapon systems and the related infrastructure necessary for combat and peacekeeping missions to be successful and cost effective necessitates an investment in fundamental material technology. This can best be accomplished by replacing conventional carbon steels with vanadium-alloyed steels. Vanadium is a well-known, but underutilized, alloying element that enables higher strengthsteel – allowing up to a 40% reduction in mass for equivalent strength in equipment and structures. Furthermore, since less tonnage of microalloyed steel is required to achieve the same functionality of conventional carbon steels when strength is a governing criterion, reductions in process emissions, fuel usage and transportation costs, and other systems costs can be achieved.
DEFENSE APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS
Some quantity of vanadium is used in virtually every structural application in the military where steel products are employed. For instance, The US military has been using vanadium to either increase armor or reduce the weight of current combat vehicles, tactical vehicles, tactical bridges, material handling equipment, aircraft, watercraft, rail, trailers, steel structures, and virtually every application involving the use of steel. Additional benefits being pursued through the VTP include civil engineering applications where higher strength or lighter structures designed to resist blasts or seismic shocks are being developed. Mobility and packaging applications could also benefit from higher strength steel to reduce weapon system weight, improve mobility and readiness, while reducing fuel requirements and emissions.
VANADIUM TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP
The Vanadium industry, in conjunction with academia and defense labs, is applying its technological resources and experiences to apply beneficial commercial solutions for defense applications. Since its inception in FY2003, there has been vast progress in the Vanadium Technology Program.
Multiple benefits of the program include:
The United States Army will benefit from lighter, mobile systems, which improve airlift capability and decrease logistical support. Fixed Army assets (Army base buildings, bridges, and blast resistant structures) are strengthened and hardened.
The Steel Industry will benefit by becoming more competitive and sustainable by transforming itself into a profitable enterprise based on technologies supporting value-added vanadium micro-alloyed steels.
The Environment will benefit from the manufacture of vanadium micro-alloyed steels through a host of environmental benefits by reducing fuel consumption, steel mill emissions, recycling catalysts and other vanadium containing wastes, and reducing emissions of vehicles.